College Football Picks: Florida State vs. Boston College

Willie Bee

Friday, September 27, 2013 12:17 PM GMT

Florida State takes its perfect record on the road with a visit to Boston College, and SBR has a free college football pick with a preview for the ACC clash.

Ah, to be in Chestnut Hill now that fall has arrived. An autumn crisp to the air, perhaps pop in at Matt Murphy's Pub on Harvard Street for some fish & chips plus a pint, all while enjoying the scenery of the leaves changing in advance of old man winter's annual arrival.

It might actually still be a little early to see the area awash in fall colors, but there will be plenty of garnet, maroon and gold on the field at Alumni Stadium where the Boston College Eagles entertain the Florida State Seminoles. The collision of ACC rivals will be carried nationally by ESPN2 with a 3:30 PM (ET) kickoff, and draws the B-team from the ABC/ESPN family in the booth with Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman, along with Shannon Spake on the sidelines, a gal I find dead-sexy in her NASCAR outfit.

Take a look at our College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 5.

But back to football, and what is a fairly one-sided affair if the college football odds are any judge of things. Jimbo Fisher's unbeaten FSU squad opened as 22.5 point chalk for the matchup, that spread sidling up to 23 and even 23.5 at various shops listed on SBR's live college football odds page. The total has also been bumped up from 52 to 53.5 for a consensus a little less than 48 hours prior to the boot. 

The Florida State Seminoles enjoyed an absolute blowout in 2012 and just your average rout in 2011, and at -23 is favored by only six fewer points than the -29 in last year's 51-7 outcome that was over when the 'Noles were up 28-zip midway through the second quarter. The win left the Seminoles 7-4 in the series -- FSU 4-3 as ACC opponents -- with wins in the last three meetings, covers the last two. Three of the last four at BC have gone past the total. 

'Noles Looking For 5th-Straight Win & Cover

Four of last year's six FSU touchdowns against Boston College were off the right arm of EJ Manuel, now toiling for the Buffalo Bills who claimed him 16th-overall in last April's NFL draft. Losing a quarterback of that caliber is supposed to be tough for teams to adjust to early in the following season, but that has certainly not been the case for Florida State. 

Jameis Winston has stepped into Manuel's shoes, and then some. The redshirt frosh has over 700 yards passing along with an 8/1 TD:INT ratio in his first three games, and has proven an able scrambler on a 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame. Pressuring Winston will fall on the BC duo of Kasim Edebali and Josh Keyes. 

The Eagles are definitely going to present a major step-up in competition for the Seminoles after taking on Nevada and Bethune-Cookman, and the 'Noles are not going to be able to push around Boston College's two lines as easily. Florida State has a great offense on the stats page, but this is the game Winston & Co. have to prove it's for real.

Eagles Game Plan Easy: Control Lines, Control Clock

The Eagles are also facing a for-real scenario themselves. Florida State is a much better team than the USC crew that dispatched Boston College two weeks ago, 35-7, a true national title contender instead of pretender as the Trojans have proven.

Steve Addazio has had 14 days to get his team over that and focused on this one. His ground game petered out against the Trojans after wins his first two games in Chestnut Hill vs. 'Nova and Wake Forest, who is up against it as well this weekend with a trip to Clemson, the Tigers just two weeks ahead on BC's slate. This is an experienced offense and defense that can keep the Eagles in any game along the way, but I believe this will eventually be chalked up as the continuation of Addazio's ACC education. 

The weatherman has arranged a near-perfect afternoon for football with the forecast calling for sunny skies and the thermometer at 72º for kickoff. I think it's going to be a perfect afternoon for OVER bettors with my free college football picks on the scoreboard barrier being breached. Florida State 39-16.

My pick: Florida State-Boston College Over 53.5 at Bet365

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